Wigan owner Dave Whelan has found himself embroiled in controversy after being labelled "a racist" by Cardiff chairman Vincent Tan and facing the prospect of a lengthy FA ban.
Whelan’s comments about Jewish people, made in a newspaper interview where he was defending his decision to hire former Cardiff boss Mackay, have reverberated throughout football and beyond.
Mackay was hired despite being under investigation for allegedly sending racist and anti-semitic texts and Whelan responded to criticism by saying : “I think Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else.”
Malaysian businessman Tan, who sacked Mackay in December, reacted angrily to the latest development, claiming: “This is a racist chairman hiring a racist manager.”
The FA has said its investigation into Whelan’s comments will be treated “as a priority”.
It has written to the 77-year-old giving him three days to respond. Earlier this week the FA upheld a four-month ban on a county FA official for using overtly sexist language.
Whelan is facing the prospect of a ban himself after he also claimed he did not view the word “chink” as offensive.
Whelan later apologised and denied being racist, but Tan said: “I think he insulted the dignity of all Jewish people. He insulted the dignity of Chinese.”
Mackay, who has also denied being racist, is himself the subject of an FA investigation for sending allegedly racist text messages to Iain Moody, his former head of recruitment at Cardiff.
The main representative body of British Jews called Whelan’s comments “outrageous” and said that his apology is “half-hearted”.
The Wigan owner is facing a critical situation at the club after sponsors kitchen firm Premier Range and sports drink company iPro Sport announced they were severing ties.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews’ vice-president Jonathan Arkush said : “His half-hearted apology does not go far enough. You cannot insult a whole group of people, and then say, ‘I would never insult them’, and hope that’s okay.
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